I figure I'll start keeping some updates here if anyone wants to peer into the the world of party planning / event coordination.

DEFCON party planning is sort of a weird exception to the typical promotions that I'm used to: Generally in small-scale promo/planning you pool some money together from investors/friends to bring some headlining act out - and need to go through the process of dealing with booking agencies and acquiring a venue.

DC does away with all of that: you're handed venues and the budget. On top of this - despite dealing with the issue that we can't put any of the budget towards talent (a whole other thing - not within the scope of this post) - we manage to get bombarded by a swarm of talented artists/djs hungering to play. It makes sense though - the opportunity to increase one's exposure is quite magnificent.

So - it's a rare and awesome experience to be given a solid budget to work with combined with almost complete creative freedom over how the events are to come to life and the sorts of sounds one wants to introduce people to.

Last year was an extreme last-minute test-run of my capabilities under highly disorganized conditions: I won't get into the details. It will sound like me venting - but the bottom line is that everything had to come together in a mere 2 months... and it did - with lots of thanks to Nikita, Charel, and Neil - and all the goons who had to put up with my ridiculous shenanigans come con time (like accidentally wasting all the paper at dispatch... I bought them beer though... I think all is forgiven).

Anyways - for this year - I'm excited to have a ton more time to work on it all, which will subsequently let me get stuff planned correctly from the start so that everything runs smoothly. It's going to be a highly dimensional, albeit fun, challenge.

Here's the basic planning outline / task-list I'm dealing with (If only you could post Gantt charts in here!. I'm keeping this pretty vague for now as few of the ideas I have are definites!
  1. Hammer down budget for all aspects (finish this by mid-Jan)
  2. Open a windowed DJ/Artist booking process. We'll be rockin Google Forms, which is SICK (in a good way). This way I can get ALL the information I need, without having to play DJ/Artist cattle-wrangler.
  3. Discuss a possible venue/room change for the balls. As such - determine the event dates + times, which will let me figure out how many slots are available to give. This needs to be known as soon as we close the booking window.
  4. With a known budget, invite proposals for a design contract - provided with the themes we'll have for this year (TBA!)
  5. With known budget + booked talent, obtain a sound provider who can supply killer stacks and all the necessary equipment for the DJs.
  6. Devise a 1-2 month promotional plan to be enacted before the con to drum up some serious excitement for the events.
  7. Attempt (with approval) to seek out sponsors to monetarily compensate the talent for their time.
  8. Hit up some people about some contests I want to go down during the events. Yes, this is vague on purpose for now.
  9. Try to score a new class of DC badge: the artist badge, in an effort to hopefully give the talent more recognition.
  10. Ensure all basic infrastructure is in place: enough power, stages, (fans?), tables, and network drops.
  11. Design posters for the events.
  12. Head to con with my DC branding iron and cowboy hat. Play DJ/Artist herder, ensure all proper equipment is in place each day, acts get to stage on time, everyone is sound-checked, and all on-site promotions go off proper.
  13. ???
  14. PROFIT, and by profit I mean have a memorably awesome time.